Suspended From School...

I can not attribute any of my current success to my years ensconced in academia.   I was never a great student.  Hell, I was never even a good student.  In fact, academically I really sucked.   But there was one area at which I did excel... and that was in the area of ad hoc debate.   I found teachers to be my most favorite debating partners.  Ad-hoc debating does not require any preparation, just a massive set of "cojones" (pronounced co-ho-nes)

On March 12, 1959, my "cojones" got me into a situation that would prove to be a major turning point in my life.  A new school rule which had just gone into effect that day, required that all "cafeteria served food must be eaten."  To make matters worse, spinach was "the feces du jour" on day one of that new rule. 

As I went to dispose of my lunch tray in the rear of the school's cafeteria, Mrs. Nell Bowen, self appointed lunchroom monitor and head of the school crossing guards, watched as I attempted to dispose of lunch tray and all of my uneaten spinach. 

Bowen proceeded to march me back to my seat to finish my uneaten mulch.  I informed her that in no way was I going to eat that crap and that I was prepared to sit there, all day if necessary.  I had drawn a line in the sand and Frau Bowen accepted the challenge.  She was not about to let a third grade snot nose like me countermand her authority. 

She started out nicely, at first, telling me that spinach was good for me.  She wasn't very convincing.  Then, through some insidious logical disconnect on her part, she decided to mix my spinach with the red syrup left over from my completely eaten cherry cobbler.  Having twirled the (now) green and red fibrous mass onto the fork, she raised the fork to my mouth and proceeded to coerce me into eating it.  My mouth slammed shut faster than a snapping alligator.

Completely frustrated by my actions, Frau Bowen then pinched my cheeks and began to force the uneaten lawn clippings into my mouth.  I fought hard but this bitch was too strong.  The spinach filled my mouth.  But as Bowen reloaded the fork with more of the green slime, I stood up and spit the reddish green shit all down the front of her white dress.  If that wasn't bad enough, I spewed forth with a verbal barrage of obscenities that would rival any longshoreman which included the grammatically correct use of the F-word and C-word.

It was then, this Nazi bitch grabbed me by the back of my neck and dragged me to the principal's office.  I knew my parents would be called in on this one!


About an hour later my parents arrived at the Principal's office.  I looked up at them and they looked down at me.  Nobody was smiling and if looks could kill... I was soon to be one dead kid! 

The minutes dragged on as I strained my ears to hear what was going on behind those closed doors.  Suddenly I heard my dad say with a rather loud and angry voice, "he said WHAT!   Get him in here!"  

The door to the principals office opened and I was asked to come in.  I knew my life was over as I sheepishly entered the office.  I had no idea what stories were told about this incident.  But what I knew for certain was that there was fire in my dad's eyes.  Fortunately, my mom had the good sense to ask me for side of the story."

I then went into graphic detail describing how Frau Bowen force fed spinach into my mouth.  Truly one of my better performances, the fake tears arrived right on cue.  Even the Principle looked a bit surprised.  I showed my mom where my tongue was cut during the incident and the school nurse was brought in to attest to the fact that I had sustained a minor oral injury.  Bowen looked flushed.  And in the blink of an eye, my mom, 5' 2" Bea Browne, hauled off and gave Bowen a right cross to her jaw that would have rivaled any professional boxer.  The Principal then grabbed Bowen while my dad restrained my mom from inflicting further injury to this misguided educator.  What a sight to see... a true Kodak moment.

Lots of threats of arrest and legal action were being bandied but in the end calm heads prevailed.  For my gross indiscretion, I got suspended from school for using "foul and abusive language."   But to my surprise, this diminutive third grader was now a folk hero at Oak Grove Elementary.  For in the school's 2 year history, I go on record as being the first (as well as youngest) student to be suspended.  Plus I was now some sort of a cult hero.  I was the kid whose mom "took out" old lady Bowen.

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